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Q.We're renovating a home with hardwood floors that are somewhat worn and lack luster but don't seem to need resanding. Is there a way to restore the finish without sanding?

A.Floor finisher Michael Purser, owner of the Rosebud Co. in Atlanta, responds: I recommend that you consider recoating the surface. It offers great value and a quick turnaround and should be completely dustless. You can recoat any contemporary finish as long as paste or acrylic wax has not been applied over it. I further recommend that a professional floor finisher do the work because professionals have the appropriate equipment and experience.

After the rooms have been cleared of furniture, prepare the surface with a buffer and a maroon synthetic pad or well-worn 120 screen-back disc. Simple vacuum attachments are available for the buffer to collect all the dust created. You might also consider using a chemical prep by one of several manufacturers (Basic Coatings and Bona Kemi both have one), which eliminates buffing entirely. Either way, there need not be any dust.

After preparing the surface, you apply the finish. I suggest waterborne polyurethane because of its speedy drying and curing time, its ease of maintenance, and its attractiveness. If you have any high-wear areas, you might want to touch them up before making the final application. After that, one coat usually does the job.

Understand that a recoat does not remove serious gouging or indentations, nor will the preparation remove paint or stains.

I regularly recoat floors after renovation or when a property is changing hands. It provides excellent long-term protection and enhances the appearance of the floors with a lot less effort and money than a full-blown sanding and refinish. It's worth checking out.